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J Ophthalmol. 2014;2014:157803. doi: 10.1155/2014/157803. Epub 2014 Mar 5.

Gender differences in vogt-koyanagi-harada disease and sympathetic ophthalmia.

Author information

1
Immunopathology Section, Laboratory of Immunology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, 10/10N103, Bethesda, MD 20892-1857, USA ; Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510060, China.
2
Immunopathology Section, Laboratory of Immunology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, 10/10N103, Bethesda, MD 20892-1857, USA.

Abstract

Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease (VKH) and sympathetic ophthalmia (SO) are types of T-cell mediated autoimmune granulomatous uveitis. Although the two diseases share common clinical features, they have certain differences in gender predilections. VKH classically has been reported as more prevalent in females than males, yet some studies in Japan and China have not found differences in gender prevalence. Male patients have a higher risk of chorioretinal degeneration, vitiligo, and worse prognosis. Conversely, the changing levels of estrogen/progesterone during pregnancy and the menstrual cycle as well as higher levels of TGF-β show a protective role in females. Potential causes of female predilection for VKH are associated with HLA-DR and HLA-DQ alleles. SO, a bilateral granulomatous uveitis, occurs in the context of one eye after a penetrating injury due to trauma or surgery. In contrast to the female dominance in VKH, males are more frequently affected by SO due to a higher incidence of ocular injury, especially during wartime. However, no gender predilection of SO has been reported in postsurgical cases. No clinically different manifestations are revealed between males and females in SO secondary to either ocular trauma or surgery. The potential causes of the gender difference may provide hints on future treatment and disease evaluation.

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